Most teams took the Day for Presidents off, but we still saw some great action on Monday night in a couple of big conferences.
North Carolina 81, @Florida State 75: This is a game that doesn't warrant much of a mention. North Carolina is not a lock for a tournament, but the Tar Heels can feel secure, adding to its resume with this good road win. But what happened to Florida State? This was a terrible loss for the Seminoles, who have been straddling the bubble, but won't be able to get in probably when it loses to teams with moderately good computer numbers at home. You can lose to Syracuse or Duke at home. You can't lose to North Carolina. FSU has some must-win games coming up, and doing worse than 2-2 likely puts Florida State into the prayer category (or worse).
@Baylor 70, Oklahoma State 64 (OT): Well, you've got to wonder what Baylor was thinking.
But, it didn't matter. Baylor still walked away with the win over the Cowboys. Look, the only reason these two teams are still in play for the tournament is because they both play a lot of very good teams down the stretch. OK State's 7-game losing streak may finally end on Saturday, but only because it is playing Texas Tech at home. This doesn't look like a tournament team and is holding on only because of its play through the middle of January. Oklahoma State is going to fall out of the tournament if it doesn't figure this out.
For Baylor, well, that's a team that has shot itself in the foot too many times, never losing to bad teams, but garnering very few good wins. But Baylor has hung around the edge of the bracket, and this may be a win sufficient enough to push them back into the First Four. But Baylor cannot rest. It's status is far from assured, and it still needs to win more games than it loses down the stretch.
There was not much else to speak of on a slow Monday night. Some big upsets in the mid-majors, but they weren't enough to make a difference in the conference races.
@Towson 78, Delaware 63 - UD still has strong 2-game lead in Colonial
Davidson 83, @The Citadel 76
@Georgia State 68, Texas State 41
North Carolina Central 76, @Savannah State 62
@Southern 83, Mississippi Valley State 74
@Idaho State 78, Weber State 75 (OT) - WSU still has a strong 2-game lead in Big Sky
There are a lot of big upset possibilities on Tuesday as 5 of the 12 teams in the top #3 seed lines head out for road games, especially in the case of Villanova at Providence. But the most interesting game is probably Texas at Iowa State. ISU has pretty clearly been the #2 team in the Big 12 this year, but Texas has been making a push through the second half of the season.
#2 Villanova at (FFO) Providence
South Florida at #5 Louisville
#7 Texas at #5 Iowa State
#5 Kentucky at Ole Miss
#9 George Washington at (NFO) Richmond
#2 Kansas at Texas Tech
#2 Duke at Georgia Tech
#3 Virginia at Virginia Tech
#3 Iowa at Indiana
Butler at #11 St. John's
Georgia at (LFI) #12 Tennessee
Utah State at #4 San Diego State